about us : polite company

It is about courtesy, connecting, conversation, respect, being aware of the general rules society has put in place and yes, great table manners! Will learning modern manners be boring and tedious? No! Not our style. Our belief is that we all have a better ability to learn and retain lessons if they are presented in a fun, engaging manner. Teaching through demonstrations, skits, “game shows”, role play, and hands-on activities are all techniques to enhance the learning process. We developed a curriculum that combines traditional and modern manners. Our curriculum evolves and changes according to changes in society, technology, needs we see that are not being addressed or requests from clients.

Please visit our Services tab to see the array of classes Polite Company offers.


Caroline McClain Zachar and Stefan Zachar, III are both third generation Miami natives.  They met at a Junior Assembly Party, attended by Cotillion graduates, while in their teens and have been dancing through life ever since!

They have 2 amazing children, both Cotillion graduates and are familiar with juggling children’s after school activities.  Caroline and Stefan are well versed in business etiquette and have developed programs for high school and college students.  They believe with a little instruction and practice, good manners become second nature and allow people to gracefully navigate social situations.

Caroline and Stefan are graduates of Cotillions held in South Florida.  Caroline was a student of the well-known Hazel Nowakowski, who began the first cotillion club in Coral Gables in 1948. Rod and Hazel Nowakowski taught in venues throughout Coral Gables for decades.  Caroline’s father was a graduate of Mrs. Nowakowski’s Cotillion as well! “My ballroom dancing career began by standing on my father’s dress shoes and waltzing around the living room when he came home from work.”   Stefan was a student of Theresa Thames who taught Cotillion at the Bath Club on Miami Beach and eventually assisted Ms. Thames with classes held at the Palm Beach Bath and Tennis Club and the Indian Hill Country Club  in Chicago while in high school and college.

Caroline and Stefan began teaching modern manners and social dance in 1989.  They taught with a relatively traditional approach, but Caroline soon developed her own style of instruction and has developed a curriculum that is both current with today’s world while still keeping with the solid traditions of the past.  Her teaching method is far from stuffy.  Students of all ages are engaged  through comedy and hands-on experience.